Paruppu Usili

A South Indian crumble made of lentils and vegetables
Ingredients - Serves 4
  • ½ cup split chickpeas (or chana dal), soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 4-5 dried red chillies
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp hing (asafoetida)
  • 3 large green capsicum (or green bell pepper) or 1 cup green beans or cluster beans, cut into 1" pieces or 2 bunches of spring onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp black gram (or urad dal)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ginger, chopped, optional
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped, optional
  • 6-8 curry leaves, optional
  • ½ tsp carom seeds (or ajwain), optional
  • Salt, to taste
  1. If using green beans or cluster beans, steam them separately and set aside
  2. You can also use the {microwave} instead
  3. Grind the soaked chana dal (split chickpeas) with dried red chillies, turmeric, hing and ½ tsp of salt. Add a little water to help with the grinding, but make sure you add as little as possible
  4. Use a {spice mill}, {Indian mixie grinder} or {magic bullet} or something similar. Regular blenders are too large, so they will just toss the contents around instead of grinding them
  5. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add black gram (urad dal), ginger and garlic and fry till they start to brown
  6. Add mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter. Add curry leaves and carom seeds and turn down the heat to low
  7. If using capsicum or spring onions, add the vegetables and cook till soft. Then add the chickpea mixture, crumble it up with the back of a spoon and continue frying till it starts to brown. You can add more oil at this stage to fry the chickpea mixture
  8. If using green beans or cluster beans, add the chickpea mixture first, crumble it up, let it brown and then add the vegetables. Cook till its all dry
  9. Season well and serve hot with rice
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